Slow and Steady Wins the Race!

This post might be a little demotivating for you. But it is a left lesson that I had learned and I thought it would be worth sharing it with everyone. If you are currently very motivated to do something, this might not be the best time for you to read this! You might be demotivated by the truth. The truth is always demotivating, isn't it? I won't claim that I had invented this secret of life. There are 99% chances that you discovered this recipe long before I did.

Peer pressure has existed in our life from the time of our birth. We are always under the pressure of achieving something as fast as possible. Fickle-mindedness and materialism had led us to a world in which everyone is in a constant fear of failure. We don't actually fear failure. We actually fear others being more successful than us. They may turn out to be a better human race who would survive for the next millennium. This fear creates peer pressure in our brain. Most of the decision we make, the path we choose & the dreams we see, are not ours; it belongs to someone else and we are under the peer pressure of not being able to achieve the same. Why not? The narrow-minded society might judge us.

In my childhood, there was this TV channel called Pogo. The channel owners used to conduct an award show called Awesome Kids award. They used to discover child prodigies and award the best out of them. Each nominee used to be a very strong candidate. For instance, there was one who had won over 300 fine arts competition at an age of just 6. There was another who could solve calculus problems at an age of 10. Another one could swim continuously for 3 hours non-stop. When I saw them, I used to wonder that, when they grow up, they would turn out to be the best in their respective fields. I used to think how useless my life was. They achieved so many things at such an early age and I was still struggling with the basics of algebra in my early teens.

Not only this, the newspaper were full of examples of people who completed their graduation by the age of 13. They started their education at an age of 3, skipped some primary classes, joined their undergrad course by the age of 10 and completed them by 13. What do we call such people? Genius seems to be an underrated word. Here is me, who spent several years of childhood in day-dreaming and imagining weird things. I was not conscious enough to understand that my education actually made some sense till the age of 12. Nowadays, I see that many parents have already started pressurising their kids to learn computer programming, as the world suspects that computers are the future and programming jobs would be winning bread for most of the families. Kids are learning to code at an age of 6! A few might be genuinely passionate. Others are under peer pressure.

I am quite sure that 80% of the people are not able to get success in the early age of their life. Some get their first job after the age of 30. They lost 8-10 years of their life struggling with their own situation; which someone else might have used to surf ahead in their career.  Why do such differences occur? The answer is quite simple. It is very important to understand that everyone is not in the same situation -  not everyone has a financially stable family, not everyone has supportive parents, not everyone is blessed with special abilities, not everyone follows the same path as others. Such differences leads to different life experiences.

But, is there something that remains same for everyone? Yes! Everyone has to go through all the struggles of life. The ups and downs will keep coming no matter who you are or where are you. The child prodigies who were so successful at their early age will have to face adverse fall in their career in the later years. The world is a stage after all! You are merely an actor! You would deliver your dialogues, but, the act cannot go on forever. You have to exit the stage. The next act will start and someone else will get their chance to speak and earn applauds. This goes on forever.

There is a very famous story of two pianist brothers. The elder one was a prodigy. He could play Chopin, Bach & Paganini at an age of just 6. He was one of the best student of their music school. By the age of 15, he was playing for the best orchestras of the country - something that takes at least 40 years of practice for people to achieve. All his concerts were houseful. He was selling his 15 year old plays Paganini tag (something that is very common on YouTube these days). The younger one, on the other hand, struggled for most of his childhood. He was not able to play arpeggios perfectly even after 10 years of learning music. Somehow he graduated from the music school. He joined a small orchestra group who performed in roadside shows. He was struggling financially. Days passed with no sign of improvements of his life. But one day (as you would expect), an unexpected thing happened! He composed his own piece and played it with his group at a small theatre. It was a very simple tune that you can sing (much like Twinkle Twinkle). But it was very soothing to hear. So soothing that the small theatre was houseful. He told his group that he had composed more than hundred such jingles in his childhood - all slow and soothing pieces. This was completely contrary to the idea of being able to play a piece at double speed (to which the audience can applaud). All his compositions were played by their group and suddenly their orchestra became a country-wide hit. The younger brother received his first break at the age of 36. Not only that, he started a new era of music, the era where audience applauded original compositions more than the existing classical ones.

Presently, I am a Software Engineer at one of the most reputed tech firm of the world. All my teenage, I dreamt of entering adulthood as soon as possible. I was mostly driven by the perks that adulthood had to offer. Getting a driving license, getting a credit card, earning hefty salary, living away from my parents, being independent and alone - all of these fascinated me a lot. I won't lie, I had achieved all of these. But, I never realised the demerits of adulthood. I work M2F to earn a salary which I mostly use to pay my credit card bills and debts. Life has become monotonous AF. I miss my childhood a lot. I wish I can go back and do more things that I did as child.

My point is, Never rush to achieve success as fast as possible. Never trade perfection for fast success. Never choose a path under peer pressure. It's your life, you know what is best for you. Life is not a sprint. It is a marathon. You need to control your speed - speeding up sometimes and slowing down other times to build energy for the next speed up. Eventually life levels out equally for everyone. Everyone reaches the same finish line. Some reach there earlier than others, thereby trading away the essence of the journey. Some take their time to reach the finish line, thereby enjoying the pleasure of each slice. Never underestimate the capabilities of a person, no matter what he does or where he belongs to. You never know when he/she would beat you in your own game.


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